c.604 - c.521 BC
Note: Legendary figure who lived possibly in the 6th century, or alternatively in the 4th century.
Lao-tze became famous as a sage, or wise man, of China during the so-called 'Age of Philosophers'.
Lao-tze is the reputed author of the "Tao Te Ching" and founder of the Taoist religion in China. His name means "Old Master" and "Tao" means the "Way".
The "Tao Te Ching" teaches a nonagressive approach to life and a stoical indifference to the powers of the world. It called for a return to an imaginary simple way of the past and for a style of life in harmony with the universe. It says that man must imitate the universe, which endures because it does not live for itself.
Lao-tze worked as a librarian at the court of Chou. See 'map. When the kingdom showed signs of decay, Lao-tze left and was never heard of again.
Legend has it that Lao-tze, saddened by the evil of men, set off into the desert on a water buffalo leaving civilization behind. When he arrived at the final gate at the great wall protecting the kingdom, the gatekeeper persuaded him to record the principles of his philosophy for posterity. The result was the eighty-one sayings of the 'TaoTe Ching.'
www link :
Encyclopedia of Philosophy